Although it’s wonderful to cuddle up with a cat or a dog, these pets can feel a little boring for some people. The term “exotic pets” has gained a pretty bad wrap in recent years, often for good reasons. However, you shouldn’t rule them all out! There are several exotic pets you can own legally, if you’re up to the challenge! Here are some of the most interesting.

First off, the Pygmy Marmoset. You may have heard these and other cute little primates being referred to as “finger monkeys” or “pocket monkeys”. So, what is a finger monkey? The pygmy marmoset is part of the family known as “new world monkeys”, and are native to certain areas of south America. Like all primates, they’re naturally geared towards a social hierarchy. This is something you’ll certainly need to consider if you’re planning to buy one. A typical marmoset troop consists of a dominant male, breeding female, and a few litters of offspring. This pet isn’t one which you can buy on a whim. You’ll need to put a lot of work into creating a suitable environment for it. Make sure to check with your local animal control authority before making the big  decision.

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Pygmy Marmoset (Flickr)

Perhaps you’ve had enough of cute animals, or you don’t want to put in too much work for your exotic pet. In either of these cases, I’d recommend a species of tarantula. These are an acquired taste, true. However, spiders in general are exceedingly fascinating animals. It may take some time to convince your partner, but most tarantulas are known to be fairly docile. They’ll rarely bite an animal larger than themselves. Tarantulas come in a variety of different species, which are scattered all over the world. Because of this, you’ll need to make sure you can recreate the right climate in its tank. One species which is fairly easy to care for is the pink toe tarantula, native to Brazil and Costa Rica.

Our final exotic pet is the bearded dragon. These are medium-sized lizards are native to hot, dry climates. In order to keep them happy, you’ll need to have a fairly large terrarium, so make sure you have the available space before you go out to a vendor. Fully-grown bearded dragons can sometimes reach 2 feet in length. The average one bred in captivity will only reach a foot, however. If you were too squeamish to consider the tarantula, then you may want to steer clear of the bearded dragon as well. Like with many reptiles, it’s recommended that you give a bearded dragon live food. This means that you’ll have to start handling locusts, centipedes, and other creepy crawlies on a daily basis. If you don’t mind that, then these make a beautiful and affectionate pet.

There you have some of the most fascinating exotic pets you can bring home. There are many other options aside from these, but be wary of where you get them from. There are many exotic pet dealers who import animals illegally, or finance operations which are rife with animal cruelty.

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